Psychology: Work and Organizational Psychology

Understanding human behavior in the workplace

Understanding human behavior in the workplace


Work and Organizational Psychology focuses on human behavior within organizations and work situations. Why is one a leader and does the other follow? How can organizations attract competent and trustworthy employees? What are the best ways to reward employees? What are effective decision-making processes? How do organizations influence consumer behaviors? What are optimal negotiation tactics? How can organizations shape teams? What role should leaders have in that process? How can we create a healthy workplace? These are some of the questions that are central within our Work and Organizational Psychology programme.

The Master’s programme Work and Organizational Psychology prepares you for practice. During the Master you will gain insight into the individual characteristics and social processes that shape work and organizations. The courses are taught by people who have research experience and experience in the field. Not only will you be able to theorize about problems that you will encounter in organizations, you will also learn to apply these theories to everyday work-related situations.

What are the available methods with which to assess which personality traits fit within a given work environment or function? How can you properly shape and support change management within organizations? What kind of leadership fits best in today’s world? How can you measure leadership? The answers to these and related questions that you obtain during your Master’s programme are bound to have a lasting impact on your career.

The emphasis of the Master’s programme Work and Organizational Psychology lies, on the one hand, in the area of social processes in organizations such as leadership, decision making, and change processes. On the other hand, you can specialize in applied areas such as HR, (personality) assessment, and management. Because of the application-focused character of the Master’s Programme, the link between theory and practice, and the emphasis on practical experience (internship), you will have a strong position on the labor market as a Work and Organizational Psychologist.

Psychology: Work & Organizational Psychology courses in study guide.


Education is of a very high standard
The Master’s degree Psychology at VU Amsterdam is small, intensive, and well organized. You work together with other students in small groups. A lot of teachers are professionals in practice and they will take time to guide you in your learning process. As soon as you start with the programme you will be assigned a teacher as tutor to whom you can turn for study matters or personal matters.

There is a lot of attention for your future
You will have the opportunity to enroll in courses that prepare you for your work career. There is also a good network for internships within major private and public organizations in the Netherlands and beyond.

The broad approach is unique
All the Master’s degrees in the field of psychology are part of the Graduate School of the faculty. Therefore, there is a unique coherence within research, education, and academic and professional training. With the degree Psychology from VU Amsterdam there are many roads you can follow. You receive a good education in scientific research, but there is also a lot of attention for the skills that you will need in the practice of a psychologist.

Unique combination
What is especially unique about the Master’s degree Work and Organizational Psychology, is the combination of Human Resource Management and Organizational Psychology. The degree is not only scientific but also highly applicable: you will get the opportunity to analyze problems in organizations based on scientific research, yet there is also a lot of attention for practice-focused skills such as leadership and negotiation.

As a Master of Science in Psychology you will quickly find a suitable job. You can work in social aid, in hospitals, mental health institutions, or nursing homes. But you can also end up in the corporate world, for example as Human Resource Manager or Organizational consultant. Depending on the programme you choose, you will find a suitable job as psychologist. Check out your career perspectives with the Master programme you choose.

Are you not finished learning yet after your Master’s degree? After that you can apply to various postdoctoral degrees that educate you to become a health psychologist, clinical psychologist, I/O psychologist or psychotherapist, for example.

 


The research activities of the Organizational Psychology group are bundled together in the LeadershipLab. The LeadershipLab is part of the Institute for Brain and Behavior Amsterdam (IBBA). As a Master’s student you will profit from the expertise and knowledge present within the group and have the opportunity to make a contribution yourself to research and practice during your research for the Master’s thesis. The group is of high international standing and cooperates with a variety of departments and institutions within VU Amsterdam (such as the School of Business and Economics, the NSCR, and the Zijlstra Centre), and with lots of international universities (such as Oxford, Singapore, UCLA, Michigan State, Queensland, UWA). Also, the department has good contacts with major public and private organizations in the Netherlands, in Europe, and beyond.

Leadership, personality, and team dynamics are themes that are central to our departmental research programme. What role do empathy, personality, and leadership play in social interaction? How do people deal with injustices? What must a leader do to optimally motivate people to step up for the group? Which skills should you possess to stay in control of your feelings, and can self-control be accomplished through training? When do we trust others? Are there biological and genetic influences that foster trust and cooperation between people? Read more about these and related questions using the link below.

The Organizational Psychology Research Programme

Yvette Burger

Student Work and Organizational Psychology

Yvette Burger student

“Psychology is a very fun, educational, and versatile study, and even though the study is quite broad, it is definitely not shallow. I follow the programme Work and Organizational Psychology because the combination of people and companies really speaks to me. The knowledge that you gain from this degree is very applicable and useful in your own daily life. In short: a study programme that will never go to waste!"

Overview Psychology: Work and Organizational Psychology

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION DEADLINE

15 July for Dutch students and EU/EEA students with an international degree who do not need housing services through Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. 1 April for Non-EU/EEA students.

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

FIELD OF INTEREST

Behavioural and Social Sciences

Dutch students

Depending on your prior education different rules apply for admission requirements, deadlines and the application procedure for the master’s program Psychology: Work and Organizational Psychology. September 1st is the only possible date to start with the Master’s. Enrollment in February is not possible.

Already in possession of a Master’s diploma?
Beware! The costs of a second Master’s degree are not equal to the costs of a first Master’s degree. The enrolment procedure is similar to enrolment with a VU bachelor, a bachelor from a different Dutch University or with an HBO diploma. (follow the links above).

More information about the tariffs of a second degree.

Requirements

Students who have obtained a VU bachelor Psychology with a minor in Social and Organization Psychology (minor S&O) can enroll directly into the Master’s program Psychology: Work and Organizational Psychology. Psychology students with a different minor can enroll if they meet the following requirements:

  • A sufficient grade for M&D3: Individual and Organizational Diagnosis (6 ECTS) or an equivalent course (to be assessed by the Admission Board).
  • One of the three following courses: Human Resource Management, Management and Organization, or Human Resource Development, or an equivalent course (to be assessed by the Admission Board).

Requirements with a different VU bachelor

With a VU bachelor in (International) Business Administration (Bedrijfskunde), Public Administration and Organization Science (Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschappen), Communication and Information Science (Communicatie- en Informatiewetenschappen) or Communication Science (Communicatiewetenschap) students can enroll in the Master’s program Psychology: Work and Organizational Psychology if they meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 24 ECTS of completed Psychology courses consisting of:

o   Introduction to Psychology (6 ECTS)

o   An (introductory) course ‘Work & Organizational Psychology (6 ECTS) (or an equivalent course to be assessed by the Admission Board).

o   One of the following more specialized courses: Human Resource Management, Management and Organization, Human Resource Development, Organizational Behavior, Organizational Development (or an equivalent course to be assessed by the Admission Board).

o   One extra psychology course, such as personality, social, clinical, developmental, or cognitive psychology.

  • A minimum of 18 ECTS of completed Quantitative methods courses, consisting of:

o   Statistics (6 ECTS)

o   Research methods (6 ECTS)

o   A sufficient grade for M&D3: Individual and Organizational Diagnosis (6 ECTS), or a different more specialized quantitative methods course (e.g., psychometrics, multivariate statistics, multiple regression, or structural equation modelling) (6 EC) (to be assessed by the Admission Board).

How to submit an admissions request?
Students have to enroll in Studielink for the Master’s in Psychology. Enrollment does not carry any obligations and can be cancelled free of charge until September 1st. After the enrollment students receive log-in codes to log into VUnet. In VUnet students choose the specialization ‘Work and Organizational Psychology.’

With the application in VUnet students are required to upload the following documents as a ‘Diploma’:

  • The form 'Admission request'
  • Copy of Transcript of records. If you do not have a definite list of grades, you can add a provisional list of grades.   

Deadlines:

  • 31st of May: Application Studielink and admission request in VUnet.
  • 31st of August: completed enrolment (including payment of the tuition fee)

Application/enrolment is no longer possible after the deadline. You can find more information on the application procedure on the VU website.

Not admissible:
If you do not meet the above mentioned requirements you are not able to enroll in the Master’s program Psychology: Work and Organizational Psychology.

N.B. 31st of May: deadline enrolment Studielink and deadline application admission request with the Admissions Board.

Requirements with a bachelor in Psychology
Students with a bachelor in Psychology from a different Dutch University and a minor in Social and Organizational Psychology (minor S&O) obtained at the VU can enroll directly into the Master’s program: Psychology: Work and Organizational Psychology. Psychology students with a different minor can enroll if they meet the following requirements:
  • A sufficient grade for M&D3: Individual and Organizational Diagnosis (6ECTS) or a comparable course (to be assessed by the admissions board).
  • One of the three following courses: Human Resource Management, Management and Organization, or Human Resource Development, or a comparable course (to be assessed by the admissions board). 

Requirements
With a bachelor in Psychology or a related programme like (International) Business Administration (Bedrijfskunde), Public Administration and Organization Science (Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschappen), Beta Gamma Business Administration, Communication and Information Science (Communicatie- en Informatiewetenschappen), Communication Science (Communicatiewetenschap), or Human Resource Management (Personeelswetenschappen), obtained from a different Dutch University, students can enroll if they meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 24 ECTS of completed Psychology courses, consisting of:

o   Introduction to Psychology (6 ECTS)

o   An (introductory) course ‘Work & Organizational Psychology (6 ECTS) (or an equivalent course to be assessed by the Admission Board).

o   One of the following more specialized courses: Human Resource Management, Management and Organization, Human Resource Development, Organizational Behavior, Organizational Development, (or an equivalent course to be assessed by the Admission Board).

o   One extra psychology course, such as personality, social, clinical, developmental, or cognitive psychology.

  • A minimum of 18 ECTS of completed Quantitative methods courses, consisting of:

o   Statistics (6 ECTS)

o   Research methods (6 ECTS)

o   A sufficient grade for M&D3: Individual and Organizational Diagnosis (6 ECTS), or a different more specialized quantitative methods course (e.g., psychometrics, multivariate statistics, multiple regression, or structural equation modelling) (6 EC) (to be assessed by the Admission Board).

To determine whether students meet the requirements, students have to submit an admissions request in VUnet (see below).

How to submit an admissions request?
Students have to enroll in Studielink for the Master’s in Psychology. Enrollment does not carry any obligations and can be cancelled free of charge until September 1st. After the enrollment students receive log-in codes to log into VUnet. In VUnet students choose the specialization ‘Work and Organizational Psychology.’

With the application in VUnet students are required to upload the following documents as a ‘Diploma’:

  • The form 'Admission request'
  • Copy of the diploma
  • Copy of Transcript of records. If you do not have a definite list of grades, you can add a provisional list of grades.  

Incomplete enrollments will not be taken into consideration.

Deadlines:

  • 31st of May: Application Studielink and admission request in VUnet.
  • 31st of August: completed enrolment (including payment of the tuition fee)
Not admissible:
If you did not obtain one of the above mentioned Bachelor diploma’s, or you do not meet the above mentioned requirements you are not able to enroll in the Master’s program Psychology: Work and Organizational Psychology.

VU University Amsterdam does not offer a premaster’s program Psychology. In order to gain admission to this Master’s programme, you need to have obtained at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university. You cannot be admitted with a HBO Bachelor’s degree to the Master’s program Psychology: Work and Organizational Psychology.

Something for you?
Do you dare to submit your own ideas to thorough analyses and to only speak with full conviction when you have sufficient scientific evidence? Are you someone who knows how to apply theory to practice? Do you want to use your knowledge, insights, and skills in the area of Work and Organizational Psychology for improving organizations? Then you will definitely be in the right place at the Master’s programme Work and Organizational Psychology.

  • Please look at what more this programme has to offer you! Find more information about the courses in the Studyguide.
  • Join a Work and Organizational Psychology Master’s degree student for a day: send an email to studiekeuze.fgb@vu.nl

Information on study related issues as courses, study programme and study choice:

Study advisor
studieadvies.fgb@vu.nl

Information days 
4 December 2018: VU Master's evening

International students

We welcome and look for motivated and ambitious students who are actively developing themselves and are aware of their position and role in society. In order to be successful in this programme you need a solid academic basis in Psychology or a close-related discipline. Typically, successful students in this programme have at least a 7,0 average grade (or an equivalent GPA score).

The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. If you have read the admission criteria below and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required.


In order to gain admission to this Master’s programme, you need to have obtained at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent. Academic writing skill is to be demonstrated by submitting a thesis or other piece of academic writing you have done during your prior education.

Specific requirements for the Master in Psychology: Work and Organizational Psychology
For admission to this study programme, a student needs to have completed (or is currently completing) a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology or related programme.

Applicants need to have successfully completed courses related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of):

At least 24 ECTS of completed Psychology courses, consisting of:

  • Introduction to Psychology (6ECTS)
  • An (introductory) course ‘Work & Organizational Psychology (6ECTS) (or an equivalent course; this is compulsory) (6 ECTS).
  • A more specialized organizational psychology course (e.g., Human Resource Management, Management and Organization, Human Resource Development, Organizational Behavior, Organizational Development) (6 ECTS).
  • One extra psychology course, such as personality, social, clinical, developmental, or cognitive psychology (6 ECTS).

At least 18 ECTS of completed Quantitative methods courses, consisting of:

  • Statistics (6 ECTS)
  • Research methods (6 ECTS)
  • A more specialized quantitative methods course (e.g., statistical diagnostics, psychometrics, multivariate statistics, multiple regression, or structural equation modelling) (6 ECTS).


English language proficiency

The admission board wants to stress the intensity of the programme: reading scientific articles and writing papers will be a key part, all in a very high pace. Your English language skills, both oral and written, are extremely important in this programme. As you will have to communicate frequently with your fellow students and you will be working with and for international companies.

VU Amsterdam requires all applicants who have not completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia to take an English language test and to submit their score as part of their application. You can apply online for the Master's programme without having the English test results yet. You can apply online for the Master's programme without having the test results. We do advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the programme:  

IELTS (academic): 6,5

TOEFL

  • Paper based test 580 
  • Internet based test 92-93

Cambridge English

  • Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C 
  • Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers the TOEFL ITP English-language proficiency test. The test is offered by the VU Taalloket. You can find more information and register for this test at www.taalloket.nl.  

If you have read the admission requirements and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required.

Step 1: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents and arrange the payment of the application fee, a non-refundable €100 application fee applies. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English in pdf-format.

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation letter
  • Two recommendation letters by academic staff
  • Transcript of records, including grades and credits (ECTS)
  • Description of courses
  • Literature list
  • Thesis
  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (only for EU residents)

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. In Studielink you can apply for the Master Psychology and in VUnet you can choose the Work and Organizational Psychology specialization. You can also submit your documents and pay the application fee in VUnet. After you have completed the application in VUnet, our international student advisor will contact you via e-mail.

Step 2: Await decision on admission
The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you gain admission, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. You can start planning your move to Amsterdam!

Step 3: Finalize your registration and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation What to do after admission. When all conditions are met you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

The deadlines for application are as follows:

  • April 1: Non-EU/EEA students with an international degree who need services from the International Office (housing [optional) and visa procedures).
  • April 1 : EU and EEA students with an international degree who need services from the International Office (housing).
  • July 15 : EU and EEA students with an international degree who do not need services from the International Office.
If you wonder what it is like to live and study in Amsterdam from a current student perspective, do not hesitate to contact our student ambassadors. They would love to share their experiences with you. 

Our student ambassadors are listed on this website: www.vu.nl/ambassadors.

Reach out to them and get their stories about being a student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

There are several possibilities for obtaining funding. VU Amsterdam, the Dutch government and other organisations offer scholarships, fellowships and grants. Below you can find detailed information about scholarship programmes, grants and loans most often used by our international students.

VU Fellowship programme

VU Amsterdam offers fellowships to outstanding non-Dutch students who take part in its international Master's degree programmes, through the VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP). Selected students will receive a scholarship for the duration of the degree programme. There is a limited number of fellowships available. Please note that the VUFP application deadline is set to February 1st.

General information about scholarships

Learn more about other scholarships:

  • Direct Loan Programme (US students)
  • Netherlands Fellowship Programme
  • STUNED Scholarship Programme
  • Libertas Support Fund
  • Other scholarships possibilities

Student grants and loans by Dutch government

If you have questions about a student grant and loan provided by the Dutch government, you should contact DUO (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs) or call the central information line on +31 50 599 7755.

Practical information about studying in Amsterdam

We will help you get the important things done during your stay, such as finding accomodation and optaining a visa/residence permit.
Extra information you need as an international student at VU Amsterdam 

Contact 
International Office.

Something for you?
Do you dare to submit your own ideas to thorough analyses and to only speak with full conviction when you have sufficient scientific evidence? Are you someone who knows how to apply theory to practice? Do you want to use your knowledge, insights, and skills in the area of Work and Organizational Psychology for improving organizations? Then you will definitely be in the right place at the Master’s programme Work and Organizational Psychology.

  • Please look at what more this programme has to offer you! Find more information about the courses in the Studyguide.
  • Join a Work and Organizational Psychology Master’s degree student for a day: send an email to studiekeuze.fgb@vu.nl

Contact

Information on practical matters (application & registration procedure, admission requirements, scholarships, etc.):
Floris Korbee
International student advisor
masters.fbms@vu.nl

Information on study related issues as courses, study programme and study choice:
Study advisor
studieadvies.fgb@vu.nl

Information days & meet us in your own country
Please check information days at our university or a list of educational fairs that we will attend throughout the world.

Information Days